I have passwords stored in .authinfo.gpg file which I only need for Gnus. I never store passwords for machines or localhost in this .authinfo.gpg file (or in any other file).

The problem is when I use Tramp (e.g. C-x C-f, then type in su::), I constantly get prompted for password for .authinfo.gpg which I don't need.

Is it possible to disable password prompt for .authinfo.gpg when using Tramp? An alternative solution would be to use some other file for Gnus, is there a way to do this?

2 Answers 2


You can either use this (I base mine on the command-line arguments):

(setq tzz-gnus-running-p (member "gnus" command-line-args))
(setq auth-sources (if tzz-gnus-running-p

or customize tramp-completion-use-auth-sources:

tramp-completion-use-auth-sources is a variable defined in ‘tramp.el’.
Its value is t
Whether to use ‘auth-source-search’ for completion of user and host names.
  • 1
    Setting tramp-completion-use-auth-sources to nil does not work for me. I still get prompted for .authinfo.gpg password each time I try to use tramp with /su::/.
    – Gleb
    Commented Dec 4, 2020 at 22:04

I had the exact same problem and found the answer in the Emacs documentation after (setq tramp-completion-use-auth-sources nil) didn't work for me. Here is the relevant snippet from the documentation:

In case you do not want to use an authentication file for TRAMP passwords, use connection-local variables like this:

(connection-local-set-profile-variables  'remote-without-auth-sources '((auth-sources . nil)))

(connection-local-set-profiles  '(:application tramp) 'remote-without-auth-sources)

This has the expected result of TRAMP prompting for a password in the minibuffer (not authinfo.gpg) when trying to open a file as root - in my case, M-o r after using counsel-find-file.

Note that password-cache-expiry applies to TRAMP, so you can tweak this setting to find a good balance between convenience and security regarding the password prompt frequency.

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